Mubarak Begum Mosque

Delhi, India

Site History and Significance

A Nineteenth Century Landmark

Located in the Mughal walled city of Shahjahanabad in Delhi, India, Masjid Mubarak Begum is a small mosque built out of brick, with red sandstone details and painted in a terracotta color. The mosque was commissioned in 1822 by Mubarak Begum, one of the thirteen wives of Sir David Ochterlony, first British Resident of the Mughal court during the time of Akbar Shah II following the British takeover of Delhi in 1803. The British government assumed ownership of the mosque after Mubarak Begum’s passing in 1878. It is currently under the custody of the Delhi Wakf Board. 

Architectural and Aesthetic Merit

Originally attached to Mubarak Begum’s house, the mosque now sits atop a commercial property. Its main prayer chamber has three bays, each characterized by foliated and recessed pointed arches with floral moulding bands and apexes. The arches are framed with a bas-relief of bangladar roofs and architrave bands of geometric patterns.

The mosque’s lime-washed walls have red sandstone trimmings and detailing, while the entablature band is made up of an architrave, a frieze, and a cornice, all in red sandstone. The space’s octagonal columns have a floral capital, and the terrace in front of the mosque is enclosed with a stone railing.





Our Involvement

WMF’s Crisis Response Program

On July 18, 2020, a torrential downpour in Delhi caused the top of the mosque’s central dome to crumble. Gaps between the sandstone veneer allowed water ingress, causing the brick and masonry and mud fill between the two layers of the dome to swell and collapse. Through its Crisis Response Program, WMF partnered with the Delhi Wakf Board in April 2021 on a project to restore and preserve the mosque.

Conservation, Planning, and Training

The project at the mosque, expected to be completed in 2022, will prepare a plan for the conservation of the domes, the roof of the prayer hall, and prayer hall itself, outlining conservation priorities and detailing the interventions to be carried out. They will include the conservation of the central dome and work to repair the stucco of the two adjacent domes, the prayer hall roof, and cracks in the prayer hall walls.

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Last updated:
May 2021

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